Couple having dinner. Image credit

Couple having dinner. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes:Contraception:Ways to prevent pregnancy

  • Spermicides are sperm killing chemicals

How it works

  • Are usually in the form of jelly cream placed into the vagina before sexual intercourse
  • The chemical kills spermatozoa


  • 60-95%


  • Does not require a prescription
  • Does not need medical supervision
  • There are few side effects
  • Easy to use
  • Improves effectiveness of condoms/diaphragm as well as other methods of contraception


  • High failure rate if it is used on its own
  • Used with every sex act
  • Is often a messy affair
  • Must be applied at least 3 minutes before sex but not more than 30 minutes before sex. This takes the spontaneous aspect of sex off the table

Side effects

  • Can cause irritation/allergy to the penis/vagina in some people

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page